One of the men who robbed a downtown Franklin pharmacy last year was sentenced to 10 years in prison and put into a drug rehabilitation program.
The judge told 19-year-old Davonte Hubbard to take advantage of the opiate rehabilitation program and commit to turning away from crime because he is so young.
Hubbard, of Indianapolis, pleaded guilty to a charge of robbery with a deadly weapon and approved the plea agreement with a set sentence of 10 years. If he successfully completes the drug rehab program while in prison, he can ask the court to reduce his sentence. He was given credit for 276 days he has served in the county jail since his arrest in the crime that rocked downtown Franklin in the middle of the day.
“You have an opportunity to get out of jail while you are a very young man and make the proverbial lemonade out of lemons,” said special judge Dan Vandivier, who presided over Johnson Circuit Court on Thursday.
Hubbard was one of three teens from Indianapolis involved in the robbery at Henderson Drugs in downtown. Hubbard and another man went into the pharmacy about 10:30 a.m. on May 16 and threatened a pharmacist with a handgun, which later was determined to be a pellet gun. They stole prescription medication and drove away in a minivan.
The pharmacist came out of the store with a handgun and fired several shots into the ground at the minivan. The gunfire scattered people in downtown Franklin, and shop owners shut and locked doors because they weren’t sure what was happening.
One of the bullets fired by the pharmacist hit the back of the van, which led to a tip from an Indianapolis resident who noticed it and called police.
Police found the van and arrested Hubbard and another man, Devan Twitchel, 20, about a week later. Eighteen-year-old Hayden Glass, who went behind the counter to steal the drugs, died of an overdose the day after the robbery.
Twitchel was charged with aiding in a robbery, a felony; and his case is ongoing.
Hubbard had no adult or juvenile record but got involved with the wrong people leading up to the robbery, his attorney John Young said. Hubbard accepted the plea agreement because he thought the terms were fair, Young said.
The sentence included the rehab program to help get Hubbard off prescription medications, which hopefully will prevent him from future crimes, Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper said.
“I love rehab for offenders inside prison walls. Prison right now does have some of the best meth and opiate rehabilitation programs in the state,” Cooper said.
Vandivier told Hubbard to take advantage of the opportunity he was given with the program and that if he completes it and behaves he could be released from prison in less than five years.
As part of the plea, Hubbard will testify in Twitchel’s case if it goes to trial later this year.
The three teens had gone inside the store and drove past the night before the robbery. The next day, they skipped school and drove from the southside to Franklin and robbed the store during the day when downtown businesses were open and people were driving and walking past the store.
No charges were filed against the pharmacist, since police and the prosecutor determined he acted reasonably to defend himself and the businesses after the robbery. Franklin schools, city hall and local businesses were locked down because of the gunfire.